Learning new skills during a residential stay

Date Posted: 03/07/2013

Children on an orienteering challenge.

You can help your students meet their curriculum and personal development objectives during a residential school visit on the north Norfolk coast.

Brancaster Millennium Activity Centre is one of the National Trust’s Norfolk Coast Properties and is surrounded by stunning natural habitats – saltmarsh, beach, and dunes. The centre holds a Learning Outside The Classroom Quality Badge.

Activities are focused on getting outdoors in order that school trips can take full advantage of the centre’s coastal location.

Sailing, kayaking, raft building, coastal safari and beach fun are its most popular choices; with the surrounding countryside the setting for orienteering, cycling, team challenges, and a historical activity at the nearby Branodunum Roman field. 

A selection of off-site visits are also available at the centre each year – one of the most popular being a trip to see the seals on Blakeney Point. One such off-site activity is included in the price of your school’s visit. Teachers should also be aware that the centre is able to adapt activities to meet a school's particular curriculum criteria.

Additionally, in order to give children a tangible achievement to aim for on their school trip, a new Young Ranger Award is attainable as part of a week-long stay.

Facilities at the centre

As indicated by its LOTC quality badge award, the centre promises to maintain its training and accreditation to a high standard. Its sailing instructors are Royal Yachting Association qualified, the kayak instructor holds British Canoe Union qualifications, and the centre also has First Aid-qualified learning staff on site full-time.

Staff remain on duty until 8pm each evening, with an on-call system until breakfast the next morning.

Accommodation for your pupils consists of ten dormitory-style bedrooms, with bunks; teaching staff usually have the en-suite facilities available to them, whilst children have male and female shower and toilet blocks.

A group of children on bicycles.

Pictured: School children on a cycling adventure; one of the activities on offer at Brancaster Centre.

Communal areas of a dining room, study gallery and small garden are complemented by a staff sitting room, which has a wood burner and TV and access to the harbour in Staithe and local village park (which is a ten-minute walk from the centre).

All food is provided on a residential stay and meals can be adapted to suit dietary requirements as required. 

A ‘Get Cooking’ activity, where students can help prepare the evening meal for their stay, has proven to be a popular activity with children on past school trips.

Respecting each other and the environment

Teamwork is actively encouraged at the activity centre, and the Young Ranger’s within each school group are taught to spread environmental awareness within their parties – including elements of sustainable living (such as reducing food waste at mealtimes).

In the evenings a selection of craft activities are on offer with a local craftsperson (incurring a small extra charge).

Booking your school visit to the centre

A fully supported booking system is provided at Brancaster – with all documents e-mailed or available via the website; so that school trip organisers do not need to produce any additional paperwork for their trip.

School Travel Organiser's Guide